28 August, 2012

Nation State by Accident: The Politicization of Ethnic Groups and the Ethnicization of Politics: Bosnia, India, Pakistan

Nation State by Accident: The Politicization of Ethnic Groups and the Ethnicization of Politics: Bosnia, India, Pakistan

By- Carsten Wieland

In this comparative study of Muslim nation-building and the so-called ‘ethnic conflicts’ the author reveals stunning parallels between the collapse of Tito’s Yugoslavia and the ethno-
national separation of colonial India. In both cases Muslims ended up in a nation state of their own without the majority of them wanting one. There were no mass movements that
demanded a new ‘homeland’, which contradicts modernization-theory approaches of nationalism. Wieland digs below the surface and sketches historic developments that triggered the construction and instrumentalization of ‘ethnic groups’ in both cases.

He concludes that the term ethnicity has lost its academic value because it suffers from
inconsistencies and strong political implications. ‘Ethnicity’ is not an existing group of people but a concept of action and political resource detached from any historic context. The ‘ethnocenter’ varies. In both the Yugoslavian and the Indian case it was religion around which secondary features were added as contrast boosters.

Bosnia and Pakistan were founded under the strong influence of political elites and external political actors, like the colonial power or the international community, who themselves through within the ethno-national paradigm and acted accordingly. This helped to create Muslim nation states despite considerable contradictions between the political action group and the ‘ethnic group’ they claimed to represent. While delivering convincing facts and new
perspectives, this book is a passionate appeal for the deconstruction of ‘ethnic’ camps.

Carsten Wieland works with the Goethe Institute (Max Müller Bhavan). He was an editor and correspondent with the German Press-Agency (DPA) in Washington, Tel Aviv, Hanover and Bogota. As a free-lancer he worked from New Delhi and from the besieged city of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war. Wieland studied history, political science, philosophy, and inter-national reltions at Humboldt University in Berlin, at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and at Duke University in North Carolina (USA).

ISBN 81-7304-624-7 2006 456p. Rs.850/ Pounds 65

4753/23 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110002
Phones: 23284848, 23289100
Fax: 23265162
E-mail: manbooks@vsnl.com

To order your copy at www.manoharbooks.com

No comments:

Post a Comment